The world’s first temperate climate grassland management tool - GrassMax - has been named as the overall winner at this year’s Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards.

The winners of the competition, hosted by Enterprise Ireland in association with the National Ploughing Association (NPA), were announced at an awards ceremony attended by Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois, this Tuesday.

The competition recognises innovative and cutting-edge products and services from agri-tech entrepreneurs who are delivering forward-thinking solutions to address some of the toughest global challenges.

The awards ceremony this afternoon, which was also attended by Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy and NPA managing director Anna May McHugh saw GrassMax win the overall award in this year’s competition, the prize for established innovator of the year.

What is GrassMax?

The Dublin-based company and its product GrassMax App combines advanced modeling techniques with remote sensing data to provide a suite of easy-to-use bespoke nutrient and grass management decision-support tools, including satellite-based grassland growth yield measurement.

The aim of GrassMax is to remove the need for farmers to routinely walk their grass paddocks, optimise soil fertility and deliver verified enhancements in crop performance and resource use efficiency.

Start-up award

Proveye won the best overall start-up award - start-up innovator of the year - and a €10,000 prize for its AI-powered digital image analysis platform.

Its innovation uses remote sensing capability to deliver image-based insights on agricultural land, giving users the ability to make timely and informed decisions to solve a range of challenges, such as maximising yield and crop management planning.

Among this year’s competition entries, there was a strong focus on sustainable farming, through digital technologies, data-driven solutions and innovations to enhance efficiencies on farm.

Minister Coveney said: “The Innovation Arena competition is a landmark exhibition platform and competition, as it brings together ambitious agri innovators every year.

"Ireland is synonymous with agriculture and it is our own entrepreneurs who are helping to shape the future of the sector globally. With the ongoing challenges and the need to develop and implement sustainable practises, the work of these Irish innovators has never been more vital.”

International audience

Companies will also have the opportunity to showcase their products to an international audience, as this year, 50 international buyers from 10 countries and Irish companies supported by Enterprise Ireland who are exhibiting at the event will visit the Innovation Arena.

A new addition for 2023 gave previous participants the chance to apply for a space in the ‘AgTech hub’ within the arena, allowing companies to return to the Innovation Arena to showcase their progress and growth since first exhibiting.